wikiHow to Adjust Ski Bindings

Three Methods:Alpine (Downhill) SkiingNordic (Cross Country) SkiingDeciding on Type of Skis and Bindings

Having correctly adjusted ski bindings increases the safety of a skier's trip down a mountain. Adjusting ski bindings isn't always a simple task. You have to consider several factors, the size of ski boot that'll be used, the terrain that's going to be ski-ed, the skill level of the skier etc. You can easily make smaller adjustments to make sure bindings are tight, but when making major adjustments, it's best to go to a professional ski technician at your ski shop. These steps will guide you through adjusting ski bindings, get started at step one below.

Method 1
Alpine (Downhill) Skiing

  1. Image titled Adjust Ski Bindings Step 1
    Adjust the front of the binding. Before calibrating the bindings to match the DIN setting (release force setting), you’ll need to adjust the length and pressure of the bindings to match the boot size.
    • Not every binding is the same, even within the Alpine class. The front of the bindings will have a millimeter counter on the front which you will need to match with the number of the boot’s sole length. The length of the sole is usually printed in millimeters somewhere on the heel of your boot. [1]
    • Some newer bindings have a locking feature that allows you to release and adjust the binding without having to use a screwdriver.
    • When adjusting bindings you should always consult a professional technician and a DIN chart at your local ski shop. [2]
  2. Image titled Adjust Ski Bindings Step 2
    Position a ski boot in the ski binding so that the toe of the boot is fitted into the front of the binding. When you lock the boot into the binding, you’ll need to check the midsole and the forward pressure system.
    • Check to make sure the middle of the boot matches the middle of the ski.
    • Then, locate the pressure indicator on the back binding. The indicator, found on the heel piece, needs to be in the middle of the adjustment zone. Move the heel binding a few millimeters until you’re in the correct position. [3]
  3. Image titled Adjust Ski Bindings Step 3
    Calculate your DIN. The DIN number (so-called because the standard was established by the Deutsches Institut für Normung) determines how much force is necessary to release the boot from the binding. For most adult skiers who are beginners or intermediate, the DIN setting will be between 2-7. Adult intermediate to expert level skiers will be between 3-12.
    • The DIN number depends on several factors including the skier’s weight, height, age, boot length, and skier ability. Use a DIN calculator to figure out the DIN.
    • You should not attempt to adjust your DIN setting or make major adjustments to your bindings without the help of a certified technician. Improper adjustments can lead to a serious injury, like a torn ACL or worse. Adjusting your DIN setting can also void your warranty. [4]
    • Calculating your DIN setting is hard to do without a chart. So it’s best to refer to an online calculator and a ski professional. The DIN setting will factor your age, weight, ability, height, and boot sole length to give you an approximate number.
  4. Image titled Adjust Ski Bindings Step 4
    Adjust your toe piece to match your DIN settings. With a screwdriver, rotate the screw located at the front of the ski binding until the number next to it matches your DIN number.
    • The toe piece of your bindings will have an area that displays several numbers, usually on the top. Turning the screw will move the indicator allowing you to match it with the correct DIN number.
    • The DIN number is an indication of your release force setting. This setting determines the strength of the release trigger when you fall. Having the proper setting is extremely important, which is why you shouldn’t attempt to do this unless you are a professional. If your boot releases too early or too late you will seriously injure yourself.
  5. Image titled Adjust Ski Bindings Step 5
    Adjust the back of the binding. Make sure you’ve slid the back end of the ski binding up so that it is snug against the heel of the ski boot. The pressure indicator should be in the proper position.
    • Turn the screw located on the rear ski binding until the skier’s DIN number aligns with the indicator.
  6. Image titled Adjust Ski Bindings Step 6
    Test the fit. Grab a ski pole and put on your ski boots. Position the boots in the bindings toe-first, using your heel to lock the binding in place.
    • Make sure your brakes are in proper position. When the binding is open, the rear brake will be parallel to the ski; it will snap to a 45-degree angle when it’s closed. Use the ski pole to push down on the brake to unlock the binding. You should feel some resistance when trying to release your bindings. You can then use the foot you just released to step down on the other binding to release.
    • Adjust the fit if necessary. If you're having difficulty opening the binding with a ski pole, you might want to try a lower DIN. Be careful, though; set the DIN too low, and you’ll pop out of your bindings and injure yourself on the slopes. Set it too high and your boot won’t release at all.
    • See a professional. Even if you think you’ve got your bindings adjusted correctly, check your work with a professional. Certified technicians will be able to help you achieve an ideal fit.

Method 2
Nordic (Cross Country) Skiing

  1. Image titled Adjust Ski Bindings Step 7
    Check your binding type. For cross country skis, there are a few types of bindings that you may be working with. Because not every binding works with every type of cross country boot, you will have a certain type depending on the boots you have.
    • The main types of bindings are:
      • New Nordic Norm (NNN), or the Nordic Integrated System (NIS). These bindings feature two thin raised ridges that fit to matching grooves in your boots. The boot will have a metal rod at the toe which clips into the front of the binding and acts like a door hinge.
      • Salomon Nordic System (SNS) Profil bindings. These bindings use a single, wide binding ridge and a single matching sole groove.
      • SNS Pilot bindings. These bindings are similar to the Profile bindings. Except these bindings use two metal rods to click into two different binding slots. These bindings are thought to offer superior kick motion and flex while providing excellent stability.
  2. Image titled Adjust Ski Bindings Step 8
    Adjust the front of the binding. If you have NIS or NNS bindings, you can adjust the bindings with your NIS key. Insert the key into your binding and press down. [5] This also works on skate skis with an NIS plate.
    • The key allows you to slide the binding up or down along the ski. There are slots under the binding which your binding will click into. Every time you place your binding correctly into a slot, you will hear a click.
    • On classic skis, moving the binding toward the tip of the skis will give you a better grip. Moving it back gives you better glide.
    • On skate skis, moving the binding toward the tip of the skis toward the tail gives you a lower gear which translates to a faster start up with your stride. Moving toward the tip gives you a higher gear and a higher maximum speed.
    • As of January 1, 2016, Salomon bindings will carry the NNN system. Meaning that you won’t have to screw holes and mount the bindings into the correct position. You will be able to adjust new skate bindings with an NIS key.
  3. Image titled Adjust Ski Bindings Step 9
    Adjust the front of the binding for your proper DIN. With a screwdriver, rotate the screw located at the front of the ski binding until the number next to it matches your DIN number. Position a ski boot in the ski binding so that the toe of the boot is fitted into the front of the binding.
    • Make sure you have the right type of bindings for Nordic skiing. Cross-country touring bindings are lightweight and more narrow, intended for use on groomed tracks or relatively flat expanses of snow.
    • Metal-edge touring bindings are heavier and wider. These bindings are meant to be used in more rugged terrain.
  4. Image titled Adjust Ski Bindings Step 10
    Adjust the back plate. You can also adjust your back plate to match your bindings to your boot’s length.
    • Insert the key into your back plate and move it forward or backward to match the distance you moved your front plate.
  5. Image titled Adjust Ski Bindings Step 11
    Check for fit and range of motion. Nordic ski bindings attach only at the front of the foot, leaving the heel free and detached from the ski.
    • If you’ve adjusted the bindings correctly you should be able to move easily and feel like you have adequate control over the skis. Put on your ski boots and test your bindings.
    • You should be able to release your boots from the bindings by pressing down on a release near the toe with a ski pole or with your hands.
  6. Image titled Adjust Ski Bindings Step 12
    Adjust the fit. If your boot doesn’t feel secure in your bindings you will have to adjust the bindings with your key again.
    • Move the back plate forward or backward to adjust for your boot’s size.
    • Repeat the process on the second ski. Barring rare exceptions, your DIN and binding fit on the second ski should be the same as the first.
    • Adjusting your skis should be done by a professional technician at your local ski shop. These professionals can make sure you have the correct gear setup. A professional will make sure that your skis are adjusted for your body and ability level.

Method 3
Deciding on Type of Skis and Bindings

  1. Image titled Adjust Ski Bindings Step 13
    Determine your preferred type of skiing. The type of skis you get will differ on how and where you ski. [6]
    • If you like to ski larger hills and mountains that offer steeper runs, you will want Alpine skis, or possibly Telemark skis. Alpine skis are made for steeper runs where you will be riding up to the top of a hill or mountain and then skiing down to the base.
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    Pick the right types of skis for you. There are four main types of downhill skis, and three main types of cross country skis. You have all mountain skis, twin tip skis, backcountry, and racing skis.
    • The equipment you need for these different types of skis will not be the same across the board. All mountain skis with a wider waist are the best for all around skiing.
    • Twin tips have two tips which bend up, like a snowboard. These skis fall into two relative categories, all mountain, and park.
    • Backcountry skis are the widest and are meant for powder and ungroomed trails. These skis help you float on the snow but don’t let you turn as sharply.
    • Cross country and Randonée skis don’t accommodate for steep slopes. These skis feature lighter gear that aids in skating and climbing. These skis don’t allow for very sharp turns.
    • Telemark skis are a sort of mix ski that offers the ability to remove your back heel like in a Nordic ski. But a telemark ski is still designed for skiing down steeper and more aggressive slopes.
  3. Image titled Adjust Ski Bindings Step 15
    Consult a professional. The best way to get the proper setup is to go to your local ski shop and get outfitted and measured by a ski professional.
    • Professional technicians can properly adjust your bindings and pair you with the right boots and equipment. You should consult a professional every season as your weight and ability may have changed.


  • Your DIN will change if you grow larger, lose or gain weight, age or improve your skill. Adjust your bindings accordingly.
  • Purchase boots and bindings at the same time. Not all bindings are interchangeable.
  • Make sure your bindings are properly mounted on the skis. The type of skiing you usually do will affect where your bindings are mounted, as well as your sex (men and women have different centers of gravity).
  • Everyone should have their bindings adjusted at a ski shop. This will ensure your safety on the slopes, and help you learn how to adjust the bindings yourself. Watch the process carefully and ask questions so that you can imitate the process if you need to do a solo adjustment.


  • Adjusting your bindings, especially your DIN settings is not recommended unless you are a professional. Improper adjustments can lead to serious injury.

Things You'll Need

  • Skis
  • Ski Bindings
  • Ski Boots
  • Ski Pole
  • Screwdriver
  • DIN number chart (or DIN number)
  • NIN key

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